There are some events in this world that one should pause and reflect on its meaning. The passing of Mr. John Glenn, test pilot, astronaut, hero, senator, patriot, is such an event. His passing is a loss to our nation because a part of what makes America great died with him.
New York Times published a great tribute reciting Mr. Glenn’s accomplishments and heroism, All I can offer is to express my gratitude for his service and example he sets. To me, Mr. Glenn personifies a fearless can-do attitude, at a time when this nation needed it the most. Americans were in fear after the Russians successfully launched and orbited Sputnik. Americans were challenged, and we answered with engineering ingenuity and with pride; and John Glenn added his rugged bravery, as the final necessary ingredient. The result? Mr. Glenn became the first American to reach orbit. His Friendship 7 flight kicked off an era of U.S. man space flight dominance that lasted decades.Today, many Americans spoke of space as the past; so goes the felt pride. We now depend on Russians to take our astronauts to the Space Station; the China and India are the ones racing to the moon. Recent presidential campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again“, reflects a national cry to reclaim greatness. The truth is, prominence of one generation will eventually come to pass; but the legacy of greatness is passed on. With John Glenn’s passing we inherited his great legacy; it’s up to us to take the mantle. Elon Musk’s Space X, NASA’s Mars ambitions and robotic exploration are giving me hope that America will once again take the lead in space by “normalizing” space travel and by going farther than ever before. Americans will make new, enduring legacies–it’s who we are. (The above article is solely the expressed opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the position of his current and past associations)